There are different designations of sleep apnea, but the one that an orthodontist can help with is called obstructive sleep apnea. This is when the airways get repeatedly blocked while you are asleep, causing short periods of time where you aren’t really breathing. Not only is this dangerous, but it limits oxygen to vital organs and can negatively affect the quality of your sleep.
If you believe you have obstructive sleep apnea, let your orthodontist know. Although an orthodontist cannot directly diagnose sleep apnea on their own, they can be some of the first to see early signs of it during regular orthodontic treatment. Sleep apnea can be caused by numerous different factors, so working together with your healthcare team is vital.
When it comes to obstructive sleep apnea, orthodontic treatment can be used to alleviate symptoms. Often times, this type of sleep apnea is caused by misalignments in the mouth causing your airway to be blocked. By changing the alignment, this issue can go away.